So, lately, when the endless barrage of mindless TV dumbassitude threatens to turn my brain to mush, I turn on BBC World News for a few hours and find out what’s really going on in the rest of the world. Once the initial shock of viewing relevant, cogent, even-handed news coverage wears off, I swear I can actually feel myself getting smarter as I watch.
Sure. I know. Maybe it’s just a refreshing, non-America-centric take on things— and I’m sure politics creep into their news reporting just the same as happens over here— but for some reason, their TV news doesn’t seem as contaminated with entertainment fluff and unimportant (but sensational!) nonsense as that of their American counterparts. The British definitely HAVE all that; they just seem to have kept it mostly out of their news hour.
I compare the experience of watching the BBC foreign news service to drinking an ice cold glass of pure mountain spring water after years of guzzling Kool-Aid made with too much sugar. But one must be careful… watching for too long gives me what I can only describe as the intellectual equivalent of an ice-cream headache: too fast, to clean, too clipped, and too relevant all at once.
I tire of the shrieking American media circus, and fondly recall the Equal Time Rule and the old 1934 FCC Communications Act, which kept the media (even the “faux” news talk show circuit) from getting too lopsided. I miss Walter Cronkite and the old school ethics of broadcast journalism as it existed before big media conglomerates bought up everything and tossed once-sacred journalistic integrity out the window in exchange for ratings. Don’t get me wrong— there were always pundits and talking head political mouthpieces spewing nonsense into cameras and microphones, as well as one-note TV and radio hosts pretending to be smarter than they were, slinging gossip for a living (I’m looking at YOU, Walter Winchell, you shameless hack). It just seems that these days, not only are these creatures no longer the exception— they are the whole industry. We’ve traded the sometimes tedious (yet always relevant) insight of Edward R. Murrow for the non-stop shock of Howard Stern. And believe me, in the long run that can’t be scored as a “win” for a rational and even-tempered society.
Meanwhile, at least you still have the endless barrage of snarky complaints produced by our fine team here at The Grype to help you while away the long, boring minutes between tweets. We work tirelessly each week bringing you fresh material, and by “work tirelessly” I mean for a few hours every Monday and Wednesday night. Hard core, dude.
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Spread the word minions! The comics are about to get seriously funny as we stampede forward toward our Second Anniversary. With special celebrity guest stars in both comic strips, the most fabulous of whom will be making his debut here next week.
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